I looked at my phone today and questioned my existence. I had no Pokemon Go app to explore the world. There were no new friend requests on Facebook. The news was depressing – violence, rape, hatred, disasters and accidents. The internet connection was slow and frustrating. The streaming audio skipped and paused. My friends were last on WhatsApp 8 hours ago – no messages. The filters on Pixlr looked dull and boring now. The battery was down to 20%.
As my five year old son threw the ball at me, I ducked and discovered my existence. We ran out of the house together past little lanes to explore the park as we kicked the ball around. Three new kids joined us and were laughing as the ball went all over the park. The little bird nest we had seen last week had four hungry new chicks that were being tended to by their mother. The chirping sounds never paused and the wind swept through my hair without skipping a beat. Everyone paused to say hi to us as they jogged around the park. The rains had added a bright touch of green everywhere and the puddles reflected the evening sun. The clouds rushed in and spilt out a little drizzle that grew stronger. Hand in hand we ran through the heavy rain and reached home drenched and happy. My phone still lay on the bed – no new messages, no missed calls, no app updates, no notifications.
I felt alive!
The rains have started again in Tamilnadu and Chennai is bracing itself for another round of floods and boats. Some random thoughts that came to my mind:
1. The floods show the risk of trying to build an economically attractive city on an infrastructurally weak foundation.
2. If only the people stopped throwing garbage down the drains (literally) and the government stopped throwing the tax money down the drain (figuratively) the flood situation would not have been so pathetic.
3. As the officials proudly announced school and college leave in view of rains and flood, another basic right of children – education – was taken away. Food supply was threatened and Shelter was compromised already.
4. Chennaiites have an amazing sense of humour and resilience. Is it Singara Chennai or Sinkagura Chennai (You will need to understand Tamil to catch that!
5. Never trust Tamil News Channels! Depending on their political affiliation these channels either showed opposition leaders saving people with their bare hands or relayed cooking shows as if nothing happened! In most places natural disasters unite people and political parties as they rally to shelter lives….. not in India!
I am not posting pictures here – there are some genuine ones and a lot of fake pictures doing the rounds on Facebook, whatsapp and twitter.